Home is where the heart is…
I know you have probably heard of the cheesy saying, “Home is where the heart is”, before. As cheesy and corny (wow, so many food adjectives) as this quote may be, I bet you would agree with me that it is very true. Different places can be exciting, fun, and full of wonder; yes, all of this is true but Dorthy said it best my friends, “There’s no place like home.” Madison and I did not have school on Good Friday, in addition to that, my teachers also canceled my early classes on Monday. This meant one thing, a long weekend back home! McKinney, Texas really is a special place, and I’m not just saying that because that is where my family lives. McKinney has a uniqueness to it that really makes it stand out against other towns and cities. The Downtown McKinney Square, I would say, is the element that really sets McKinney apart. The McKinney Square is in the upmost condition, perfectly restored while still embracing its antiquity. There are cute boutiques and scrumptious restaurants ranging from many different types of food and atmosphere. Looking for something farm-fresh? Go to “Harvest”. Looking for somewhere to buy the newest and most stylish earrings that just came on the market? Go to “The Little Red Hen”. Looking for somewhere to see a hilarious and entertaining live performance? Go to the “MPAC” center in the old McKinney courthouse. As you can see, Mckinney has it all. It really does.
“Filtered” coffee shop is one of our go-to places in Downtown McKinney. The chill and comfortable atmosphere that the shop has really makes it a fun place to go and hangout. There are so many instances where we have gathered in “Filtered” with friends and family members to spend quality time together. When Madison graduated from High School she had a graduation get-together in “Filtered” with her super close friends and some family members. This coffee shop is a place where people can be connected with one another in a cool and inviting atmosphere. This is something that I have always noticed about “Filtered”, more than other coffee shops. I was able to speak with the owner of “Filtered” and her words did not surprise me a bit when she said she wanted “Filtered” to really be community bases and integrated with people. She said coffee is ritualistic in the way that it brings people together and that is exactly what “Filtered” does. Local artists record in the back room of “Filtered” and soon there might even be a window so people will be able to peek in and view this process. How many coffee shops can you say do that? Pretty neat. The back room of the coffee shop also can be rented out to be used for different events like small celebrations, get-togethers, and other fun things like that. There is live music at “Filtered” on Thursday evenings that adds a little flare and fun to the normal coffee shop feel. I adore live music, especially listening to local musicians and singers embracing their talents and passions. There is also a wall in “Filtered” that is full of different art and drawings done by people in the community. What a cool way to feature creativity in the community in many different aspects! “Filtered” does not only provide a place for the community to gather, it also supports the local and Texas community in several cool ways. One of the ways being selling some bakery items from a restaurant also in Downtown McKinney named “Hugs”. “Hugs” is an incredibly awesome restaurant that employs people with special needs. The employees make the food there, serve the food, greet the guests, and they also grow some of their own veggies used at the restaurant in a little garden. “Filtered” also sells baked goods from Main Street Bakery that is located in the greater Dallas area as well. The owner of “Filtered” said that she loves to go as local as possible, this is a concept that I love. “Filtered” also uses Cuvee coffee that is based in Austin, Texas. Cuvee coffee is of incredible quality and when a shop chooses to use these beans there is a process to go through. The beans must be used within a certain amount of time after they are ground, and there are other regulations shops must abide by to use the beans. I think that is means a lot to use Texas native beans of such a high standard. I’m a fan!
Something that I learned about “Filtered” was that they use very nice machines that operate with human touch, not electronically or mechanically. This brings the human touch into the coffee and lives it life in a way. The coffee is made in the most thoughtful way that can only be produced with the touch of a human being. I dig it! This time at “Filtered” I got an iced Vanilla Americano with almond milk. It was scrumptious and I sucked it right down! Madison got one of her favorites, a white chocolate mocha. She reports that it was as fabulous as ever. Kaylee actually decided to not go with coffee this evening and got a smoothie fan but I did try Kaylee’s drink and it was excellent. It was very sweet without being “too” sweet. Thumbs up (Gig ’em, am I right?) all around for these delicious beverages! But what made the drinks taste even sweeter was the company. We were with our parents, nana, and our uncle. Being at school, we obviously do not get to see everyone all at once very often. It was wonderful being all together in my favorite Downtown on such a pleasant evening. Family was a very instrumental piece in the creation of “Filtered”. The owner of the shop was telling me that her mom was the interior designer, her father was the contractor, her uncle had his painting crews do some of the paintings in he shop, and her cousin was the architect. Now that is one awesome family affair! What a special way to work together as a family and make something as amazing as “Filtered”?!
“Filtered” is such a special part of the McKinney community and a Downtown must see! I’m thankful for such a place to call home and to have this awesome family to come back to! Thanks for all of the memories “Filtered”, we’ll see ya after finals!
, Allie Boykin
Photos by Madison Boykin
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